What Is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)?
A form of tauopathy, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease which occurs in people who have suffered brain trauma repeatedly.
Previously named as ‘’punch drunk’’, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is most commonly found in professional athletes. In September 2015, researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that they had identified Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in 87 of 91 (96 percent) deceased NFLplayers that they had examined and in 79 percent of all football players.
The progressive damage to the nerve cells causes visible changes in the brain. However, to date diagnoses is very difficult and can only be made during autopsy.
Those affected by Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy tend to show symptoms ranging from dementia to depression. Since a diagnoses cannot be made, there is no cure available.
Causes Of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE):
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is generally caused by repetitive head trauma. This is the reason as to why Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is common in individuals who take part in aggressive and violent sports. Such sports have high rates of repeated head impacts and concussions.
Moreover, blast injuries may also result in CTE.In the case of blast injury, a single exposure to a blast and the subsequent violent movement of the head in the blast wind can cause the condition.
Symptoms Of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE):
Symptoms of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy generally begin 8–10 years after experiencing repetitive mild traumatic brain injury.
First stage symptoms include:
- Deterioration in attention
Further disabilities appear with progressive deterioration, which include:
- Memory loss
- Social instability
- Erratic behavior
- Poor judgment.
Third and fourth stages include symptoms ranging from:
- Progressive dementia
- Slowing of muscular movements
- Impeded speech
Additional symptoms in dysarthria, dysphagia, and ocular abnormalities, such as ptosis.
Moreover, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is known to cause atrophy of many parts of the brain. Injuries to the section of nerve cells involved in axons interfere with cell-to-cell communication.
Diagnosis Of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE):
The lack of in-vivo techniques to show distinct biomarkers for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is the reason Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy cannot currently be diagnosed during lifetime.
The only known diagnosis for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy occurs by studying the brain tissue after death.
Concussions are non-structural injuries and do not result in brain bleeding, which is why most concussions cannot be seen on routine neuroimaging tests such as CT or MRI.
Treatment Of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE):
Since diagnosis during one’s lifetime is not possible, no cure has yet been found.
Currently, the sole approach to prevent Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is to prevent head injury.
Investigators have demonstrated that immobilizing the head during a blast exposure prevented the learning and memory deficits associated with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy that occurred when the head was not immobilized. Thereby, immobilizing the head may also prevent Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
By : Natural Health News